It all began with this recipe for Pumpkin Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie. Until that point, I had frequently used peanut and almonds butter in savory soups, smoothies, sauces, and more (love these sesame peanut noodles!). I had baked with them, too. But I had never used nut butters as a full-on replacement for flour in baked goods.
Once I realized how incredibly well they worked–while lending moister, flavor, and healthy fats to the resulting baked goods–I was a fan. The initial success inspired further experimentation, and as I baked increasingly more often with nut butters (and nut flours, too), I continued to be delighted by the results.
Not only do these ingredients produce appealing texture and taste (less “nutty” than one might imagine), they offer an excellent nutritional profile including significant protein and quality fats. They also lend particularly well to baking with natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup.
Flash back to last summer, when my husband was traveling for work. He experienced an exceptionally delay-ridden flight that involved several trips on and off the plane as the passengers exceeded the total amount of time they were permitted, under FAA regulations, to sit on the tarmac. My husband got to know the person who sat next to him during this ordeal rather well! They even discovered mutual friends. She worked for Barney Butter and, after hearing that I like to cook with almond butter, she kindly gave him a coupon. (I love a good coupon!)
As my husband told me about his trip, we laughed about how he initially sought out almond butter in the dairy aisle, next to the butter and margarine. Once you know that almond butter is like peanut butter, this seems rather silly. I thought it worth mentioning though, as a friend just mentioned she did the same thing recently. (If you would like to read specifically about almond butter and see the various options, from creamy and chunky to several specialty flavors, click on this link. You will also find helpful nutritional information here.)
The following recipe has been a favorite of my kids for a while now. Canned or frozen pumpkin puree make it a year-round option. I love these muffins, too, but wanted to make one final adjustment to the texture before I shared the recipe. Recently, I found the final piece of the puzzle: an additional egg white. These muffins are wonderfully moist and have a slightly fudge-like texture, thanks to the unique combination of ingredients.
It’s worth pointing out that, because the almond butter allows for a baked good with no flour, these muffins are naturally grain- and gluten-free. That said, nut butters and all-purpose flour cannot be interchanged successfully most recipes.
Thanks to the use of almond butter and pumpkin, these tasty muffins are packed with protein and vitamins and can be whipped up with a short list of pantry ingredients.
- 1 cup (9 ounces/255 grams) almond butter (I like smooth in this recipe)
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces/140 grams) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; canned is fine or make your own)
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup (4 ounces/110 grams) honey (may substitute maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (here’s a great homemade option)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (3 ounces/75 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a standard muffin pan with 10 paper cup liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin and the almond butter until smooth. (If the almond butter has been stored in the refrigerator and is hard, it is helpful to bring to room temperature before mixing.)
Stir in the eggs and honey. Mix in the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips, reserving a few for the top, if desired.
Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measure, distribute the batter evenly among 10 muffin cups. Top each muffin with a few reserved chocolate chips.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the centers are just firm.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, the muffins will keep for at least a week. May also be frozen.
- If you prefer to omit the chocolate, you may substitute raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, or a mix of all three.
Today I made the chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. For me, the recipe made 14 muffins. Maybe I made my cups fuller? I agree, they do remind me of the “Secret Brownie Cookie” recipe which I’ve made many times with rave reviews. The idea of ‘no grains’ is always intriguing to me, but it works! I think I could have left them in 20 minutes rather than 15, but they are still good and no ‘goo’ in the center. They raised, but didn’t stay quite that high after taking them out of the oven to cool. Will definitely make them soon again.
Dotti, I’m delighted the recipe is a keeper and appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Feel free to pass along the “Secret Brownie Cookie” if inclined. It sounds like something many readers would enjoy!
Could you use applesauce instead of honey or maple syrup?
Hi Emily, I haven’t tried but I think they should turn out similarly in terms of texture. They might be a touch less sweet, but I think I’d give it a go with relative confidence. If you do, feel free to report back!
Love this recipe!! I almost overlooked it because I just thought no flour, butter or added sugar how could this be?! But oh my..sinfully delicious and healthy. My mom said it felt like she was eating homemade chocolate cake 🙂 I will make these time and time again!
Hi Andrea, The ingredients do seem like a weird combination, but I’m so glad you tried and discovered how well they work. Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback. I’m delighted this is a keeper!
hi, I’m getting ready to make the Grain-free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and was wondering what do you check off my food plan for this recipe?
Hi Fran, I’m not sure what food plan you’re referring to. If you can give me a little more information, perhaps I can help!
Pingback: Halloween Is Coming – Resources to Help Decide What to Do. – Godspacelight
We are making this for the first time today. What do you do with the leftover pumpkin?
Hi Andi, I use it in overnight oats, cookies, baked oatmeal, granola, pancakes, etc. If you search “pumpkin” on this site, you’ll see many of the recipes that we enjoy. If you bake with applesauce or mashed banana, pumpkin is generally a good alternative, albeit slightly less sweet. You can also freeze it for later use.
I made these when my family came to visit. Everyone agreed that they were delicious!
I’m delighted they were a hit with your family, Terry!
Loved this recipe! Can it be made in a loaf or any other size pan?
Hi Deanna, I would try a cake pan or pie plate because it would be easier to cook it evenly and you could cut nice wedges. So glad you liked!
These are one of my favorites and make them often, substituting chopped walnuts for the chocolate chips because I am a type 2 Diabetic. So today when I was making them, I decided to add 1/2 cup of flaxseed meal, which I use often in other recipes and had on hand. I baked them for 20 minutes and they still came out great. Nice and moist but with that little extra that ground flaxseed gives recipes. I love that I am getting a little bit of extra fiber to help off set the sugar from the honey.
I love that you added flax meal to these, Deb–I bet it added a little something extra to the texture, too. Might just have to try that myself! So glad these have been a standby for you.
I made these today and they are a hit! Definitely making again…soon!
Awesome news, Mary Beth. Thanks for the great feedback!
Mmmm, these are amazing!! My family is loving these. They are gluten and dairy free and only use honey as a sweetner.
Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you!!
I’m so glad these are a hit with your family, Elizabeth, and I hope you find many more that everyone enjoys!
I just wanted to thank you for posting this recipe, it’s been a staple in our house for over 1.5 years now. I probably make it once a month; I had to switch to a grain-free diet for health reasons and these are my favorite muffins 🙂 . I like to add the eggs first, that way I can mix everything easily in one bowl meaning less mess. I’ve tried these with cashew butter in a pinch and they turn out airier, but not as flavorful. For the best taste, sometimes I’ll use the Justin brand of Almond Butter with Maple Syrup. Delish! I always double the recipe and fill the tins almost to the top, that way they’ll get a “muffin top” and look like a normal muffin which is not usually the case with grain-free muffins. Anyway, I love them and just wanted to say it’s a great recipe!
Thanks so much for taking a moment to let me know, Lori, and to mention the helpful details regarding cashew butter, etc. I’m thrilled these have become a regular at your house. Someday soon I’m going to try the recipe with mashed over-ripe bananas in place of pumpkin and see how that works out. If you’re inspired and happen to try before I do, please report back!
Would it be possible to turn this into a bread? In a 9×5 loaf pan perhaps?
I think this recipe would work well in a loaf pan–even a cake pan. I haven’t tried it, so I would just caution against the batter being too deep in any given pan. That way, the edges and the center should bake evenly.
Because we have nut and egg allergies, I substituted the peanut butter with sunbutter and instead of egg I mixed flax meal with water, and the muffins came out fantastic! They are a big hit for our whole family- thanks!
Im going to make these today! What do you count them as on the piyo diet?
I’m not well versed in the Piyo diet, but I would say these muffins overlap into the healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh fruit categories of that diet. I hope that helps and that you enjoy!
Has anyone tried making these using an egg replacement option? If so, which one did you use?? I would love to try these muffins since I LOVE all things pumpkin!
Coincidently, I just tested a new egg replacer on the following recipe and it worked amazingly well. The product (called “neat egg”) is an all-natural combination of ground chia seeds and garbanzo beans. In the linked recipe, I show the cookies pictured with a batch made with a real egg–nobody could tell the difference. No disparity in taste either. I haven’t tried it on these muffins but I wouldn’t hesitate to try.
Yes! I mix 1tbs flax meal with 3 tbs water for each egg. They came out amazing (and higher in fiber too!)
Great feedback, Hillary! Thanks so much for sharing it and I’m so glad they were a hit!
Pingback: Halloween Is Coming – Resources to Help Decide What to Do.
These look great! I’ve never thought to combine pumpkin and chocolate chips. Yum!
It’s a terrific combination!
Thanks for coming and linking up at #The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST The Midnight Baker ! I hope to see you there!
My pleasure, Judy!